Make the most of seasonal spring greens, like your herbs and asparagus and throw together this easy midweek pasta recipe.
If you’d like to make this recipe low-carb, simply swap out the pasta for courgette noodles or cut your own slices (no need to buy the fancy stuff or even use a spiraliser). Simply cut your courgettes into a shape that resembles penne and then lightly boil and then sauté in olive oil. While this recipe is plant-based, you could easily use cow’s milk and add grated Parmesan instead of the nutritional yeast. Short on time? You could also cook the asparagus in an air-fryer or pan, just watch for burning! And check that it’s cooked through but still has a little bite.
What You Need:
- Bunch of asparagus (about 150g)
- 2-3 lemons, zested and cut into slices
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- Pasta of your choice, cooked according to package instructions
For the white sauce:
- 2 tbsp tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic sliced into slivers
- 2 tbsp flour (a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend works just as well)
- 1-2 cups plant milk (I used oat)
- 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast (to your taste)
1/ Preheat the oven to 190-200 degrees Celsius. Roast asparagus topped with lemon slices, olive oil and salt & pepper for about 20 minutes, until tender with a slightly charred.
2/ While the asparagus cooks, prepare your pasta according to package instructions and make the white sauce.
3/ Start by sautéing the garlic slices in the olive oil until just cooked. Add the flour and stir to combine and immediately start adding the milk, a little at a time, constantly stirring. Make sure to get the lumps out (a whisk works best). When you have the desired volume and consistency, add the nutritional yeast and a squeeze of lemon juice.
4/ Stir your cooked pasta into the white sauce to coat. Once your asparagus is cooked, remove from the oven and slice into bite-sized pieces then add these to the pasta and sauce mix. Garnish with lemon zest, seasoning and more nutritional yeast (or Parmesan).
Baba Ganoush is a mediterranean dip that’s easy to make, low in calories and works well on toast, in a wrap or served with pita breads. Here’s how to make it.
Whether you grill your aubergines in the oven or grill them on the braai, this recipe is a great way to make that veg so versatile! Braaiing the aubergine will give it that classic smoky flavour, while oven roasting will yield a subtler flavour. The trick with baba ganoush is to char the aubergines whole and, when they’re cooked through, to then scoop the flesh out, leaving the charred skin behind. If the aubergines are undercooked, they may taste bitter, so make sure that you cook them until they are really soft.
- To create a more flavourful baba ganoush, allow some of the moisture from the cooked flesh to drain in a sieve over the sink for around 10 minutes. This is not necessary, but can help if there’s a lot of moisture.
- User 3-4 smaller aubergines, as opposed to 2 large ones, could mean less moisture and less seeds.
- Use firm, ripe aubergines, not overripe or soft aubergines as these can be more bitter.
- If you don’t have a food processor, you can still make a chunky version of this dip by mashing and mixing with a fork or using a pestle and mortar.
What You Need:
- 3-4 aubergines, pricked all over with a fork
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 4 tbsp tahini
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- Pinch each of salt, cumin and paprika
- A fig sprigs of fresh parsley (to garnish, optional)
1. Whether you’re braaiing, grilling or roasting your aubergine, allow them to cool down before scooping out the flesh. Once cool, scoop the flesh into a food processor or blender.
2. Now make the dip, by adding the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and blitzing until smooth or your desired consistency is reached. Add only 1 tbsp lemon juice and then taste test before adding more.
3. Garnish with some olive oil and serve. To store in the fridge, place in an airtight container with a little olive oil drizzled over the top and consume within three days.
To read more about the health benefits of aubergines, click here! Plus, there’s a great Caponata recipe, which also works so well as a side dish, on toast or in a lunch box.
This soup is really easy to make and perfect for those chilly winter evenings. It also keeps really well and thus is an excellent meal-planning winner for the week.
This healthy leek and potato recipe is really easy to make and is naturally creamy – thanks to the potatoes.
What You Need:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 300g leeks, cleaned and sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 1 tsp dried herbs, such as thyme or rosemary (or a pinch of both)
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 4 large or 6 medium potatoes, peeled, chopped
- 1 litre of good-quality vegetable stock
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of coconut cream (optional)
- Pinch of sea salt, to taste
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Fresh chives, for garnishing
- Lemon juice (optional)
1/ Add the oil to the pan and saute the onions and leeks, adding the garlic after a minute or two.
2/ Add the dried herbs to the pan and saute for 30 seconds and then add the chopped potatoes and litre of vegetable stock.
3/ Bring to a boil and allow to simmer until the potatoes are cooked through.
4/ Discard the bay leaves. Using a hand-held blender, blend the ingredients together with the coconut cream to form a thick soup. Add a little water as needed.
5/ Season with salt and pepper to taste and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (if desired) and serve with chopped chives and another drizzle of olive oil.